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home>>beauty & fashion>>wardrobe basics>>clothing capsules

Clothing Capsules

Copyright 2001 by Diana Pemberton-Sikes

Clothing capsules are a clever way to extend your wardrobe and do a lot with a little. Once you understand how they work, you'll begin to plan your wardrobe around them and give yourself tons of options--and no longer tempted to waste money on impulse items that don't go with anything else you own.

The first thing you need to do is remember when planning clothing capsules is that you CAN mix and match your clothes.

Often, we get in such a rut that we forget that there's more than one way of doing things. I've done that many times not only with clothes, but with accessories and jewelry as well. Once you break out of that way of thinking and try different things, you'll be amazed as what you can do.

Let me emphasize this: Start building your clothing capsules with what you have. Often, the first inclination is to go run buy something new. It's not necessary. See what you have, see what you need, and add pieces as your budget allows.

In the meantime, experiment with what you have. Write down the combinations if necessary. You'll get the hang of this in no time.

Ready? Set? Here we go!

What Is A Capsule?

A clothing capsule is a group of 5-12 pieces (jacket, skirt, slacks, etc.) that work in combination with each other. When I first learned about them, lights went off in my head. I'd been combining certain clothes for years, but then only wore other items just one way. Learning this became very liberating.

While there are no set rules, here are some general guidelines:

* Solids mix more easily than prints.

* Prints can bridge two completely different solids.

* Simple, untrimmed styles are more versatile and become less dated.

* Make sure each piece is in your most flattering color palette and fits both your shape and your clothing personality. Don't waste money on stuff that doesn't fit or make you look good.

* Avoid trendy styles. What's "in" this year will be "out" next year and you'll be out the cash. Invest in quality.

I know from experience that some women are really good at mixing and matching while others need a little more help. Arrange your closet for easy access by keeping all the pants together, all the jackets together, all the skirts together, etc., by color, so that you can see at a glance what you have to work with.

Study catalogs and window displays for ideas. Make note of how a jacket might be worn a little differently or how an accessory might be worn in a new fashion. It doesn't take a lot. What's more, once you unlock your creativity by looking at your wardrobe every which way, you'll soon find yourself doing the same with other aspects of your life, like your home, your job, problem solving, etc.

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About The Author
Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of "Wardrobe Magic," an ebook that shows women how to transform their unruly closets into workable, wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at www.fashionforrealwomen.com.
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